ZHEKOV, Svetlozar Ivanov                                                                                      

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Date of birth: January 30, 1951

Nationality:    Bulgarian
Citizenship:    Bulgarian

1974               MA in Bulgarian and Russian Studies, Slavic Department, Sofia University
1969               High School of Mathematics, Plovdiv

                      Bulgarian - native;
                      Russian - fluent;
                      English - very good;
                      French - working knowledge.

Current employment:

                    • General Manager and owner of PERO Publishing House
                    • Founder and Program Director of Pismena Foundation

Professional activities:

December 1990 – present
                   • General Manager of PERO Publishing House
⇒ Developed the perception of a new multimedia series “Literary Heritage”, and worked as compiler, editor and manager of its first edition “Hristo Smirnenski – the new perception”
⇒ Published “Hristo Smirnenski – the new perception” in two volumes and a CD-ROM.
⇒ Awarded the National Prize Hristo G. Danov for contribution to the Bulgarian literary culture for the edition “Hristo Smirnenski – the new perception”
                   • Program Director of Pismena Foundation
⇒ Working on the research study The book sector in the context of transition to market economy, regional cooperation and European integration.
⇒ Participated in an ad-hoc working group established by the Ministry of Culture to define the priorities in the book sector and outline the necessary changes in the existing legislation.
⇒ Participated in the organization, management and implementation of the interceding campaign The road of the book, initiated by Grazhdanin Society, Pismena Foundation, the National Book Centre, the Bulgarian Bookpublishers Association, and distinguished personalities of the book sector. Among the campaign’s main outputs were: wide public debate in the media on the state of the book sector; publishing of a collection of topical analysis; preparation of a Draft Law on the Book, presented at the Committee for Culture and Media in the Parliament.
⇒ Published the head analytical article (“About the State and the Book”) in the collection “The road of the book”.
⇒ Actively participated in the public initiative “Let’s read to the children” lead by the National Book Centre and non-governmental organizations.
                  • Independent expert in minority language issues – worked under contract with the office of the High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM) in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
⇒ Under contract with the High Commissioner on National Minorities Mr. Max van der Stoel participated in two OSCE field missions to Ukraine (June 2000) and Russia (August 2000) with the aim to study and assess violations of the two respective minorities’ language rights. Presented at a special conference in Hague (September 2000) his reports containing the relevant recommendations to the two governments.
                 • Literary critic and historian, translator
⇒ Carry out and published a broad literary inquiry with the famous Bulgarian poet and translator Kiril Kadiisky, member of the French Academy for Poetry Malarme. (Svetlozar Zhekov. Kiril Kadiiski. Literary inquiry; Sofia, Pero, 2003, 536 p.)
Published his selected critical works in the volume "Across the Yard of Time" (Nov Zlatorog Publishing House, 2007) 
Published the voluminous bilingual book of poetry translations: "Arseni Tarkovski and Other Russian Poets", including the best of his translation works (A. Tarkovski, A. S. Pushkin, E. Baratinski, Osip Mandelstam, S. Esenin, Nikolai Rubtsov and Tatiana Bek) (Nov Zlatorog Publishing House, 2007) 

April 1997 – November 1999

                 • Director of the National Book Centre, Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria
⇒ Prepared an entirely new concept for the Ministry of Culture’s priorities and the Government subsidy for the book sector.
⇒ Proposed and passed concrete texts of the Law on Protection and Development of the Culture, in its part concerning the book sector.
⇒ Worked in close co-operation with the Council of Europe and other international organisations on the development of an integrated European information system for the book sector and on providing opportunities for inter-institutional cooperation in favour of the book and the reading.
⇒ Lead and initiated the review of the national book policy and worked in close relations with the Council of Europe and UNESCO under the Programme Governments Love Books (Electronic Books, too).
⇒ Participated in numerous workshops and seminars concerning the challenges of the book sector in the transition economies and organized by the Council of Europe in Frankfurt, Leipzig, Strasbourg, Sofia and Bucharest, where presented the following reports: “Need of and specific issues on the implementation of the Books In Print System in Bulgaria”; “Problems of the Bulgarian legislation related to the book sector”; “How to keep the literary heritage”.
⇒ Actively participated in the establishment of the Euro-Bulgarian Cultural Centre.
⇒ Initiated the establishment of a main database for the book sector in Bulgaria and the introduction of the Books in Print System. Developed the first pilot “Books in Print” edition in Bulgaria both on paper and CD-ROM.
⇒ Jointly with the Bulgarian Bookpublishers Association organized the Bulgarian participation at the international book fairs in Frankfurt and Leipzig (where Bulgaria was the focus country).
⇒ Organized a number of international meetings and workshops related to the introduction of the new technologies in publishing and book trade.
⇒ Managed and co-organised with UNESCO the first regional meeting of representatives of the Eastern European Countries, entitled “Reading for all.”
⇒ Organized (jointly with the Soros Art Centre and the Bulgarian Bookpublishers Association) and chaired the First National Book Conference (Sofia, November 1998). Presented the report “To establish a National Book Policy”.
⇒ Participated in a regional meeting of professional writers, translators and experts from the book sectors of the Balkan countries (Alexandroupolis, Greece, 1999), where presented the report “Problems, challenges and prospects for the Bulgarian book in the context of Balkan and European integration”.
⇒ Managed and organised a Balkan regional meeting Books Without Borders within the European Month of Culture, Plovdiv 1999. Presented the report ”Establishing National Book Policies in the Context of European Integration”.
⇒ Jointly with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs organized and chaired the first regional meeting of experts from all Eastern European countries within the framework of the UNESCO Programme Reading for All. Presented the report “New opportunities for regional cooperation through the programme Reading for All”
⇒ Organized and chaired international seminar Review of the National Book Policy, where presented the report “What is a National Policy and Is There Ground for it in Our Country”.
⇒ Within the framework of a PHARE training programme on art administration and management developed two projects: Bulgarian Literary Heritage and Balkan Dreams, which won the prize of best developed project in both modules.

1990 – 1992
                 • Editor and publisher of the magazine for literature and art Pero
                 • Established PERO Publishing House
⇒ Published the bestselling pocket-size dictionaries series.
⇒ Published some of the first books to represent the democratic changes in Bulgaria, e.g., Georgi Velichkov's book of essays In the Hall of Democracy and Nikolai Kunchev's book of poetry There is Someone in the Forest with a study of his poetry by Svetlozar Igov.
⇒ Published the series Philosophy Plus, which includes fundamental works of modern philosophy and political thought by Leczek Kolakowski, Milton Friedman, Humboldt, L. Mises, Hayek, I.Berlin, M. Novak, Paul Johnson, J. Gray, and Riszard Legutko.
⇒ Published the Owl series with bestsellers by Sidney Sheldon, Robert Ludlum, Sara Paretzki, Shotaru Ikenami, etc.
⇒ Published the series Novels into Films, e.g., Edgar Doctorow's Ragtime.
⇒ Published Modern Bulgarian Poetry series, e.g., Ivan Borislavov, Katia Mitova, Ilko Dimitrov, Rumyana Zaharieva, and Luchezar Petrov.
⇒ Published the series Great Discoverers.
⇒ Set up the first representative Pero Bookshop in Sofia and established an efficient bookselling network in the country.
⇒ Pero Publishing House participated in all national Book Fairs as well as the Frankfurt Book Fair.

1987 - 1991

                • Editor, Literary Criticism Section, Bulgarski Pissatel Publishing House.
                • Wrote the play “Toto” (1989), published by Nauka i Izkustvo Publishing House.
                • Awarded the annual Fakel Magazine Prize for the translation of Osip Mandelshtam’s poetry.

1985 - 1987

                • Editor, Foreign Literature Section, Plamuk Magazine.
                • Initiated and published an international discussion on the contemporary non-fiction, later on published as a book.
                • Awarded the annual Fakel Magazine Prize for the theoretical study “The Metaphrase Against Itself”.

1976 - 1985

                • Editor, Poetry Section of the Cultural Program at the National Radio.
                • Since 1980 - Head of the Poetry Section. Created several programs, some of them included in the Permanent Fund of the National Radio, including two of the most popular radio-programmes: Good Morning, which is still being broadcast daily, and For More Good Books, which lasted for almost a decade.

1978 - 1984
                • Assistant Professor of Bulgarian Literature, Sofia University.
                • Narodna Kultura Publishing House published his translations of selected poems by Arsenij Tarkovsky “In the Middle of the World”.

Professional activities as writer, translator and editor:
1969 - 2002
                • Published poems and literary critics in Literaturen Front, Literaturen Forum, Cultura, Puls, Narodna Mladezh, Sofiiska Pravda, Otechestven Front, Otechestven Glas, Maritsa, September, Plamak, Suvremennik, Literaturna Misal, Fakel, Rodna Rech, Trakia, and Plamuche.

1972 - 1997

                • Published translations of Russian classic poetry (A. S. Pushkin, M. Y. Lermontov, E. Baratinski, S. Esenin, Osip Mandelstam, A. Tarkovsky, Nikolai Rubtsov, Tatiana Bek etc.)

1987 - 2002

                • Editor of more than 100 literary and scientific editions.
                • Published a broad literary inquiry with the famous Bulgarian poet and translator Kiril Kadiiski, member of the French Academy for Poetry Malarme. (Svetlozar Zhekov / Kiril Kadiiski. Literary inquiry; Sofia, Pero, 2003, 536 p.; second edition - Zahari Stoyanov Publishing House & Sofia University Press, 2007, )


                 • Translation and editing from English and Russian into Bulgarian language of more than 100 articles, reports and other scientific and research materials.
                  • Joins the team of a large international project "Hyper Learning", where his ambition is to present the digitized literary heritage of the great Bulgarian classic author Aleko Konstantinov to the European cultural scene;
                   •In Seon, Germany (2004), took part in the foundation of a consortium within the "Hyper Learning" project (GDRE+);
                   •At the second workshop within the "Hyper Learning" project in Seon, delivers two reports: "Aleko Konstantinov – choice of the author, methodology and specific tasks related to a hypertext research platform implementation" and "Print and Burn on Demand";
                  •Continues his work within the "Hyper Learning" project, through the COST Programme, more specifically in the COST Action A32 (“Open Scholarly Communities on the Web”), where he is nominated representative of Bulgaria and is a member of the Management Committee;
                   •Became member of the European Union Publishers’ Forum;
                   •Published the voluminous bilingual book of poetry translations: "Arsenij Tarkovsky and Other Russian Poets", including the best of his translation works (A. Tarkovsky, A. S. Pushkin, E. Baratinski, Osip Mandelstam, S. Esenin, Nikolai Rubtsov and Tatiana Bek) (Nov Zlatorog Publishing House, 2007)
                   •Published his selected critical works in the volume “Across the Yard of Time" (Nov Zlatorog Publishing House, 2007);
                   •Currently is working on his doctoral thesis "The Bulgarian Book Heritage and the New Book Economy”.

Professional Organizations:
1980 - P      Member of the Union of Bulgarian Journalists
1983 - P      Member of the Bulgarian Translators Union
1991            Founder of the first Private Association for Culture
1994 - P       Founding member of the Bulgarian Book publishers Association

Political Activities:
1989-1990  Actively participated in the public political debate on the need of democratic changes; published the articles “Decent Here Is Regarded as Fool”, “Light in the Darkness” and “At a Crossroad”, which provoked wide public reaction.
1989           One of the founders of the Club for Democracy within the Bulgarian Translators' Union.
1991           Supported the election campaign of the UDF.
1997          Actively participated in the election campaign of the UDF as Head of the Media Council of the Union of Democratic Forces.

Areas of Interest:

European integration, cultural policies; book publishing, book trade and new book economy, e-publishing; journalism, literature, philosophy, history.
© 2023 Svetlozar Zhekov
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